I say “no” many times during any given day, which is then usually followed by a “sorry.”
Practicing no takes discipline. It’s really, really hard. Similar to yoga, I practice saying no in hopes that one day it will become easier. Saying no can feel like the dreaded triangle pose (my yoga nemesis), but after I breath and repeat a positive affirmation, I feel a small sense of triumph of pushing myself to my edge. . . and surviving.
So I cherish the times when I get to say yes. I feel free! I feel alive! With only a twinge of guilt (which is totally different than feeling weighed down with guilt and only a twinge of that yummy, light alive feeling).
Case in point: I just had the amazing opportunity to partake in Kimpton’s Hotel Allegro Chicago and their Allegro Kids Rule program.
I could not be more excited!
Except that the dates directly coincided with my family vacation that I had had planned for months. We were to make the pilgrimage across I80 East with my parents and spend a few days in New Jersey and then a few days in New York. It was going to be a great time! We had plans! There were expectations!
Which was all blown to bits when I received that fateful email from the wonderful people of Kimpton.
For a very brief millisecond, I thought about turning it down. I am very big on following through with commitments, especially those concerning family.
And then I said, “Yes.” I knew I could make this work and do some variation of both.
I called my family that we were going to be staying with and (
nervously) (bravely) asked them if they would mind hosting us
the week earlier. Although I am willing
to accommodate others, it felt totally weird to ask that of someone else. Not to sound all martyr-ly, but my schedule
is always revolving around others and is rarely in the forefront. I felt guilty and icky.
But I worked through it and just yes.
Yes to the unknown.
Yes to the possibilities.
Yes to me.
During this time, a high school memory came flooding my memory. I was fifteen, and my sophomore Spanish class was going to Spain. I remember looking at my teacher with such awe and excitement. I remember wanting this to work so badly, but thinking no way in HELL were my parents going to be cool with sending me across the Atlantic Ocean.
I was even afraid to ask my parents. Going all the way to Europe seemed so abstract, too far from my everyday reality. I was shockingly surprised that not only did my parents day yes, they were excited and wanted to come with me.
I was given the gift that no aspiration is too big. I learned that asking is the first step. And the impression of my parents not only agreeing, but being excited has left a deeply imprinted on my psyche.
And from this, my place of yes was born.
Have you recently said yes to something that seemed impossible?